Kinect sales 'stalling' in Japan - report

Retailer figures point to slow uptake; but sales on par with installed base ratios

A report has claimed that Microsoft's Kinect motion control peripheral has endured "a pretty rough start" in Japan following its recent launch.

According to Japanese media retailer Tsutaya the camera-based device is selling around a quarter of the numbers of Sony's PlayStation Move in a country that has proven a tough market to crack for the US hardware manufacturer and publisher.

But according to the latest numbers from Media Create around 1.4 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold in Japan, compared to 5.7 million PlayStation 3 units - which means that sales numbers are roughly equivalent on a like-for-like basis.

The report in Mantan-Web, citing Taketo Matsuo and translated by 1UP, also points to the lack of Kinect titles in the country's top-selling games, and claimed that most people buying the peripheral were existing Xbox 360 users, rather than people new to the platform.

If true that would mean that Microsoft is unlikely to see a spike in console sales, painting a very different picture to Western markets where it's believed that Xbox 360 sales saw a significant upturn when Kinect was launched.

However, although this is a snap-shot of one retailer in Japan, unless Microsoft releases Japan-specific numbers - which it is unlikely to do unless sales are particularly strong - a clear picture of the overall market will be some time in coming.

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Latest comments (7)

Private Industry 9 years ago
Wasn`t that obvious? 360 is not doing well in Japan and the apartments there are not very big.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 9 years ago
^among other things...

Hmmm... perhaps Kinect will actually bring Godzilla out of retirement and back to Japan at some point, whereupon downtown Tokyo becomes his living room as he sets up his big ol' launch 360 with that room-sized power brick with a new Kinect and gets busy playing Kinectimals with a fuel tanker or something.

Off to bed for me. Damn you Need For Speed...
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 9 years ago
Looking at Amazon bestseller lists around the world, neither the Kinect, nor the Move are setting the world on fire. Ranked #34 and #37 in the U.S., easily outsold by Wii Fit at #7 and far behind the Wii, which has multiple SKUs ranked higher than either (#11, #20, #27). Move+Console is #67, Kinect Console Bundle is #125, but at least they can claim the bunlde to be #4 on the Amazon wish list.

If Amazon is any indication, then it is not looking too good at the moment, but maybe the big holiday investments are still to come between Black Friday and January.
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RJ Festejo Creative Director, Microsoft9 years ago
Camera-based gaming in general doesn't seem to go down too well in Japan. Part of the reason is to do with the amount of space required to play the games. Typically, Japanese living rooms are quite small - so they just can't get the distance. This is something that was addressed for the development of EyeToy... by adding a wide angle lens. It was later built into the PlayStation Eye. A wide angle lens is good when you don't have much room, but still want to get your whole body in the camera's sight. Kinect requires you to stand like 1.8 meters away, or something.

As always, it's all down to content with these sort of things. I would love to see what happens if Dragon Quest 1000 came out and was Kinect only :p
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Charles Junglas9 years ago
Ummm...the reason the Kinect is ranked low on Amazon is, because they are out of stock. When they have stock it is generally one of the higher selling items, including the stand alone and 250GB bundle.

With no kinects available through Amazon I am surprised it's actually ranked that high. Now watch when they actually get stock in it will be one of the higher selling items.

Low Japanese sales shouldn't stun anyone...did anyone honestly think it was going to set the Japanese game industry on fire??? I think we know the answer to that.
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Luke McCarthy Indie Game Developer 9 years ago
Really, I'm surprised that they've managed to sell any Kinects in Japan.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 9 years ago
^ Hmmm... from what I've read in one of the Murdoch papers, most Japanese Kinect buyers multitask the product by using it as a footstool or as a neck rest for napping.

(always trust Fox News!)

Seriously, though (while I duck the pile of shoes thrown my way, ouch, ouch) - I can see Kinect selling to those select few who have the space (and a 360) or perhaps to visual artists (with enough space). Perhaps we'll read schools or some other institution where it can be used as part of some sort of classroom gaming applications (made in Japan, of course). Not every Japanese living space is a TOTAL shoebox...
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